Open letter to G20 leaders – something must be done at Brisbane about illicit financial flows

   0   0 Blog, Secrecy, Taxing corporations
Desmond TUTU

Desmond TUTU

OPEN LETTER TO

G20 LEADERS

When a global financial system allows billions of dollars of corrupt or stolen money to flow unchecked around the globe, something is wrong. When financial secrecy helps strip Africa of US$50 billion each year, something is wrong. When the poor of this world see the wealth of their countries slip beyond their borders, something must be done.

That’s our message to you, as G20 leaders: when you take stock in November of the health of the world’s financial system, you must address the flaws that still allow the corrupt to operate with impunity and siphon off tainted monies. In your drive to achieve a target of 2% collective growth in GDP above trend, you must remember that growth must be inclusive and sustainable and not leave anyone behind.

Alvin MOSIOMA

Alvin MOSIOMA

At the Brisbane Summit you must put people at the centre of your decision-making.

As long as there are places in the global financial system where illicit financial flows can find a safe harbour and there are people to help hide these funds there will be millions more around the world who suffer. You, the leaders of the world’s largest economies must make the global financial system serve its citizens.
At least one trillion dollars is siphoned from developing countries each year. The perpetrators of this “trillion dollar scandal” are rarely found, nor challenged.

The UN estimates that global detection rates of illicit funds by law enforcement are as low as 1 per cent. However, there are common-sense ways to make it harder for criminals to hide the proceeds of their crimes. You have already done some of the heavy lifting.

Cobus De SWARDT

Cobus De SWARDT

The G20 has declared that shedding light on corporate ownership is a priority. Today anonymous companies, secrecy jurisdictions and opaque corporate ownership structures represent the primary methods used by those who are corrupt or evading tax to shift their funds and mask their identity. G20 governments must collect and publish the identity of the real, living people who ultimately own and control companies and other legal entities to make it easier to track the origin of corrupt or illicit funds.

You as G20 leaders could take a bold step to unmask the corrupt by pledging to do this in Brisbane.

The G20 has agreed that profits should be taxed “where economic activities occur and value is created” to ensure that countries, especially developing countries, do not lose out on the wealth of their resources and the graft of their people. It is crucial that multinational companies are more transparent about their operations. They should publish information about revenue, profits, numbers of staff, tax liabilities and taxes paid on a country-by-country basis. This needs to be public for citizens to see the impact of companies in their communities and to make it easier to scrutinise where money is earned and where it may be going missing.

Winnie BYANYIMA

Winnie BYANYIMA

Opacity in the global financial system serves as a smokescreen to hide crime and corruption but the G20 has the opportunity to shine a light and make it harder to hide. Lest we forget: the primary victims of organized crime, corruption, and tax evasion or avoidance are the poorest citizens of the world. Put people at the heart of your decisions in Brisbane next week.

 

Signatories

1. Raymond W. Baker, President, Global Financial Integrity
2. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
3. John Christensen, Executive Director, Tax Justice Network

Salil SHETTY

Salil SHETTY

4. Rev. Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia and Chair of the Civil 20 (C20)
5. Jamie Drummond, Co-Founder, The ONE Campaign
6. Joel Edwards, International Director, Micah Challenge
7. Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor, Australian National University
8. Matthew Frost, Chief Executive, Tearfund
9. John Githongo, CEO Inuka Kenya Nisisi Ltd, former Permanent Secretary, Governance and Ethics, Office of the President of Kenya
10. Robert Glasser, Secretary General, CARE International
11. Richard Goldstone, Retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
12. Manzoor Hasan, Chair, UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition
13. Gavin Hayman, Executive Director, Global Witness

John CHRISTENSEN

John CHRISTENSEN

14. Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Founder, Women Journalists Without Chains
15. Daniel Kaufmann, President, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
16. Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel
17. Akaash Maharaj, Executive Director, Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption
18. Loretta Minghella, Chief Executive, Christian Aid
19. Alvin Mosioma, Chair, Financial Transparency Coalition
20. Archbishop Njongo Ndungane, President and Founder, African Monitor
21. Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International
22. Oriana Suárez, Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights
23. Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director, Transparency International
24. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Archbishop of Cape Town
25. Jasmine Whitbread, CEO, Save the Children

 

 


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top